I realize it is hard for anyone to truly grasp our loss, because it is our baby. I see her pictures that I have in the empty nursery all the time. (Yes, I occasionally do walk in, more than likely to get the Roomba un-stuck or to hear her heart beat elephant, and yes I have photos up from when she was still with us). But I choose not to share because I don't want people to feel hurt for us when they see her pictures. I don't want the pictures to represent our loss, I want them to represent life. & they do. I swear there is so much love in one picture that I framed that it's become a favorite. I don't cry at it any longer. I smile most times. I am so thankful for memories.
I have a lock box of her things. After she passed, I often sat in front of it for a long time sifting through the items that were hers. Her footprints, photos, cards people sent, scriptures written while I was giving birth. Then the last thing I would do before putting the box away was sniff the hat she wore. It smells like the pink bottle of Johnson baby lotion and a mixture that is her sweet baby scent. I fear one day I will smell that hat and the scent will be gone, actually I know it will. Because just like the wound that heals into a scar --the scent will fade too. Life will move on. That is the hardest thing I face--is knowing that life will go on, and it will do so without our kid by my side. That is a hard pill to swallow. But one I must learn to swallow, because I recently made a choice that I don't want to live life miserable and bitter. I want to be a great person. I want to represent Jesus in a real way. I want to give to the poor, help the lonely, be an aid to women who face loss like me, I want to live a great life that impacts the world. I don't want to be miserable. I want to be a mother who makes her daughter and God proud.
I so enjoy church now. I feel closer to God at church and while I draw closer to the Lord, I feel closer to our daughter. & I am learning acceptance of God's will. I view Bible stories differently. I think of Noah. I often think of the fisher-price version of here is a man in a boat with some animals and there's a rainbow at the end... but can you imagine what he really went through? The mourning over the loss of his friends? The anxiety as waters arose around him and he didn't see land? Then I think of Sarah in the Bible who spent years wanting a child, I have never stopped to think about how often she cried and worried... but what I like about all of those stories is the fact that they have a good ending. Now, Ryleigh's death was not a good ending... but actually her death was not an ending... it was a beginning of eternal life. As Christians, we never have a true ending. We have eternity of happiness. That is where I find my strength. That is why I can write this blog without blubbering like a fool. (Now grant it I am not on my hormones this week, so this can change, give it a couple of days).
I am longing for the spring. I look forward to it. Spring means life and hopefully I'll be finding out that there is more life inside of me to add to our family then. I won't have time for super sappy blogs when John or Allyson come, and I look forward to giving up the old me and giving our kiddos 110% of who I am to ensure their happiness. Until then, I'll try to appreciate where I am now in life. I pray that if you read this, you realize I am really doing what I consider well. I also hope you know it is my outlet and not used to reach out for pity. It's just me writing about life.
Oh, and don't be afraid that you complaining about a bad day will hurt my feelings. I have bad days too that don't have anything to do with our loss. It's called being human--you are allowed to say you spilled your coffee and it was a bad day. No need for apologies.
Lots of love and hugs... ~Ryleigh's Mom~ P.S. my love for you never changes.